If you’re like most landlords, you want to keep your investment properties in good shape. A well-maintained property appraises well, attracts quality tenants, can help you avoid liability issues and will save you money in the long run.
Establishing a maintenance and repairs policy and setting up procedures that are clearly understood by your tenants and your maintenance person or company (even if that’s you!) can go a long way toward making this aspect of owning rental property much easier.
Rental Property Maintenance Procedures May Include:
A regular inspection schedule, such as quarterly, set in advance, and preceded by 48-hour notice (or whatever your state requires);Keeping a tenant request tracking system or log to make sure that safety and other issues are handled within a reasonable time frame;Notifying tenants of repair and maintenance policies when they apply for a lease, at lease signing, and throughout the year;Providing tenants with several maintenance report forms to use throughout their lease term;Establishing a response time for each category of tenant complaints: safety, emergency, routine, etc.;Contact information for maintenance problems that are reported during the day, after hours, or on holidays.
Rental Property Maintenance Policies Typically Specify:
Tenant responsibilities: changing light bulbs (for safety), and promptly reporting safety hazards like loose floorboards or railings, blown fuses, clogged plumbing and electrical problems.Landlord responsibilities: repairing hazards immediately, replacing air filters regularly, checking heating systems annually, responding to tenant complaints within a reasonable (stated) time frame and providing a safe, habitable residence for tenants.
Maintaining your rental property and responding promptly to tenant requests are vitally important to your business. In some cases, tenants may be entitled to withhold rent if maintenance issues are not addressed. And you never want to be responsible for a health problem or injury that occurs due to improper maintenance or repairs.